Cookin' Up Love | Issue 9

Cookin' Up Love | Issue 9

Each week, we lure two singletons to The Captain Cook Hotel, give them food and drink, then wait for their reports to arrive in our inbox. If this sounds like you, email But be warned--if you dine on the free food and dash without sending us a writeup, a Critic writer will write one under your name. And that won’t end well for you.

English Breakfast

The Cook tavern (a place previously famed for its debauchery, cheap burgers and a D-floor sticky enough to ensnare and dislocate the ankles of many a revelling drunkard) loomed heavily in the distance as I stepped my way tentatively towards the crossroads of Great King and Albany Street. A typical Dunedin chill was in the air and my heart was pounding with trepidation as I plodded ever closer. It was here I was fated to meet and sup with a fair (hopefully) maiden at the 7th hour past noon.

I cursed as I checked my watch… 10 minutes early. Unsure of what to do with myself I loitered outside a while. Town was quiet, eerily so. At one point the clouds parted to reveal a glowing moon, the jeering face of which seemed to mock me from above. Several unearthly shrieks pierced the silence and I peered into the gloom. Sure enough, a pack of shambling, emaciated individuals were slouching towards me… Health Scis; no doubt leaving the library after another day of furious study. To avoid any interaction with these potentially aggressive beings I sought solace in the bar.

With a knowing smile from the beer-wench, I was handed a pint of ale then shown to a booth where I half expected a priest to pop up and begin confession. Luckily that didn’t happen because it would have taken all night. Instead my date arrived, accompanied by a smile and a bubbliness which I found infectious. The initial greetings were sufficiently awkward, however things were to shape up…. The conversation began to flow like the steady waters of the mighty Clutha River. In fact the convo was going so well that we took way too long to order, but finally settled on the cheese platter, a couple of salads and of course some CHIPS. We talked about the usual things, travel, uni, music and what TV series we were currently watching. We also talked about some less conventional things like parrot chlamydia, Schaudenfraud and people with colour-blindness.

As the hour began to draw late we both realised the bar was closing up around us, so we decided to leave. However our chat carried on as we vacated and sauntered through the crisp Dunedin evening. Later on we may, or may not, have gotten to know each other more intimately over a cup of night-time tea….

Cheers Twinings…. Oh and Critic

Lady Grey

Monday, got a Tinder message: “Hey, I need someone to go on the Critic blind date with, would you be keen?” I instantly had horrifying visions of how terrible his write up would be (“super boring, worst date ever”, y’know), and then messaged him back being like “yeah, sure!” Fast forward to Tuesday evening… I rounded the flatmates up for what I figured were some obligatory pre-drinks. I’m sure that all nights that begin with drinking liquer out of easter eggs are bound to end well…

The inevitable “oh shit what am I doing” crossed my mind as I walked in… there were a couple of kinda rough looking guys with questionable mullets sitting at the bar, staring at me intently. “Oh f*ck nope back out”. Luckily a smiling face popped out from behind them and waved.

I slid into the booth, now some dangerous mix of nervous, tipsy, and utterly stoked because o.m.g is he gorgeous. Aaaand there’s a British accent. Take me home now. I headed to the bar to get a drink, only to be told “yeah, we’re running kinda low on red wine”. Not a sentence I want to hear in any situation. Okay wait, they still have pinot. Crisis averted.

Back to the booth. I’m not even sure if there’s anything we didn’t talk about… we were those annoying people that had to be politely reminded to hurry up and look at the menu. More food than you have ever seen arrived. PSA: go to the Cook and get the chips. You will regret nothing.

At some point everyone else must have left, probably around the same time they turned the lights on and started sweeping the floor… Promptly left and apologized for being those annoying people that stayed for way too long. Walked back towards our houses. “Do you want to come in for tea?”

Brain: “NO. FIRST DATE RULES. GO HOME.” Me: “Yep!”

Tea somehow turned into playing a game that requires randomly pointing at an entry in some kind of med book to find out how you’re going to die… Chlamydia psittaci, apparently. Chlamydia caught from parrots. (Notably different from the kind you catch from non-parrots). This is going well. Fast-forward from parrot chlamydia to kissing. Christ knows how we segued that one… *More brain yelling about first date rules*. I woke up there this morning, so rules schmules. Chlamydia psittaci, you’re one hell of a wing-man ;)

This article first appeared in Issue 9, 2017.
Posted 1:34pm Sunday 30th April 2017 by Lovebirds.